Author’s Notes: This is a half a “fill in
the missing scenes story” and half a “what if” story. The usual disclaimers
apply. For those of you wondering what I’m doing writing this when I should be
finishing my other story, I apologize. I backed myself into a corner and now I
have to write my way out of it. It took a lot of thinking but I have a plan. In
the meantime, may I present:
The Muggle Art of Dentistry
The house was a
two-story, red-bricked affair with large windows and a gravel drive. Modestly
large, it spoke of money and taste without flaunting either. In some ways, it
was like Miss Granger herself. Mostly in the manner of its vegetation which was
both abundant and bushy. The only difference between the hedgerows lining the
front drive and the Gryffindor’s hair was that the shrubbery happened to be
that difference may not be long for this world if she keeps hanging around with
the Weasley hoodlums, Severus Snape thought as he stomped up the gravel
drive to the front door.
One would have
thought that Dumbledore, in his seemingly infinite wisdom could have gotten
someone better suited to cast wards around Granger’s house. But no. As usual
the duty fell on Severus’ shoulders and in the end there would
It was a horrid sound. Deeply annoying and Severus wondered how Muggles managed
to maintain sanity with buzzing sounds infiltrating their brains all day long.
Then again, he
thought noticing the squat, ceramic figurine on the neighbor’s lawn, maybe they
The woman that
answered the front door (Mediterranean Blue, no less) did not look like the
sort of woman who would have spawned the insufferable know-it-all that was and
always would be Hermione Granger.
In the first
place, her hair wasn’t in the least bit bushy. It was smooth, silky, and
surprisingly blonde. In the second place, she did not look nearly old enough to
have a teenaged child.
Or at least, so
he thought until he noticed the tiny little crow’s feet radiating from the corners
of her very blue, very clear eyes. Or the laugh lines around her mouth. Her
very pink mouth.
“Can I help
you?” she asked politely as her eyes took in his robes and wand. He could see
her stiffen as she did so. Maybe a little panic even crept into her eyes.
thought. At least, she has enough sense to be wary of men with sticks.
“I think rather
the opposite, Dr. Granger,” he replied in his most sneering tone. He didn’t
know why. Years of habit born of teaching idiots and lazy little brats.
Professor Dumbledore informed you of my coming?” He prompted her when she began
to look confused.
“Oh Yes!” She
cried her face breaking into a welcoming smile. “Of course, I completely forgot
that today was the day you were coming, Professor Snape. Do forgive me.” She
stepped back from the door. “Won’t you please come in?”
Severus gathered his robes before stepping over the threshold into a very
nice foyer with a mahogany hat-stand, tiled floors, and a staircase with a
polished oak balustrade. Just as the outside, the foyer softly whispered
“Can I get you
anything to drink, Professor Snape?” Dr. Granger was beaming politely from the
entrance to the well-appointed and book filled sitting room.
becomes painfully clear, Severus thought as he eyed the piles of well-worn
books propped against various bits of furniture.
“Or perhaps a
cup of tea?” Dr. Granger’s eyebrows rose into a wide, solicitous expression.
you.” Severus replied, waving away the offer impatiently. “If you would just
show me where the boundaries to your property are?”
enough, the woman merely smiled pleasantly and said “Of course, if you’ll
follow me outside.”
He did. And
much to his own deep shame his eyes fell on her backside as she turned away
from him, noticing the way her hips swayed as she walked across the yard and
pointed out exactly where their property ended and the neighbor’s began.
not to think about the doctor Mrs. Granger’s hips as he slogged around the
property line casting the wards. The woman had gone inside to do whatever it
was that Muggle dentists do. Not that he had expected her to stay outside and
watch. The daughter would have but apparently the mother wasn’t as
especially the kind that stand up against the most vicious of attacks, are
extremely difficult to cast. More to the point, casting them is an exhausting
By the time
Severus had finished his unwanted chore he was sweaty and bone weary. The sun
was throwing long shadows across the ground and in the distance was the
whirring noise of some Muggle contraption. The air smelled of cut grass and
summertime. It would have almost been . . . pleasant if there hadn’t been the
shadow of the Dark Lord hanging over everything. After all, he would never have
been here in this little enclave of Muggledom had it not been for Voldemort and
his obsession with Harry Potter and anything associated with the boy.
had to reluctantly admit, as he trudged back to the house, that he was rather
envious that Granger got to spend her summers’ here. Marching about the
property had further cemented his conviction about the affluence of the
Grangers Senior but more, it gave him a good look around.
garden was the sort of garden every Englishman longed for—even Severus.
It had large,
leafy trees blocking out unwanted and prying eyes. It had great flowering
shrubs concealing hidden little nooks and crannies in which one could nap
peacefully or perhaps read. It had gorgeous, glorious flowers that were
seemingly everywhere. There was even a small vegetable patch not far from the
The whole house
and all of its grounds were lovely and sweet.
hadn’t been so exhausted the sweet, hominess of it all would have enraged him.
Professor Snape, you look utterly spent.” Dr. Granger had appeared in the
doorway at the back of the house carrying a tray of lemonade and something that
resembled a salad.
“It was to be
expected, Madam,” Severus told her trying to keep the sneer out of his voice
and his eyes off of her hips.
“Oh well, I
assumed that it would be difficult. I can’t tell you how much we appreciate
this. We’re very concerned about this Valdermont person. Not for ourselves, of
course,” she added quickly, setting down the tray on the iron table that took
up one corner of the terrace. “But for Hermione. I had know idea that her being
Harry’s friend and—what do you call it? Muggle-born?”
eyeing the tray and the table suspiciously. He had the disconcerting feeling
that she was going to invite him to sit down.
“Well, that her
being from non-magic parents would be so . . . dangerous.”
Severus, avoiding eye contact. “It is an unfortunate fact of the world that
humans despise what is different.”
Snape, won’t you please sit down,” she smiled at him and gestured towards one
of the lawn chairs. “The least I can do is feed you after you exerted yourself
so much on our behalf.”
“It’s quite all
right . . .”
she interrupted his protest. “I insist. I would feel just awful having you come
all this way and not being able to repay you in some small way. Please, at
least have a cool drink. It’s quite hot out and you’ve been working for hours.”
think of another polite protest so he sat down. Why he wasn’t just rude, he
“Would you like
some pasta salad as well?” she asked as she handed him a cool glass of
lemonade. Her hair was glowing in the late afternoon sun.
So that’s what
that concoction is, Severus thought before nodding his head.
of course,” Dr. Granger told him as she spooned some of the salad onto a plate.
“About humanity being inclined to hate what’s different. You’d think that after
all the genocides this century has seen people would learn.”
“If there is
one thing that I have learned, Dr. Granger, it is that mankind rarely learns
anything.” Severus replied as she handed him lunch.
“Oh, I can’t
believe that. I think people are quite capable of changing.” She smiled at him
again as she sat down. He couldn’t help noticing that when she smiled a small
dimple appeared at the corner of her mouth.
“I see you are
an optimist, Dr. Granger,” said Severus, twirling his fork in the salad and
taking a bite. It was quite good. Actually, rather perfect for a hot summer day
and it did hit the spot. He hadn’t realized how hungry he had been.
me Olivia,” she smiled, the little dimple appearing again.
“Then I insist
that you call me, Severus.”
smiled again as she sipped her lemonade.
“May I inquire
as to where your husband and daughter are today?”
“Oh, well Paul’s at the office and Hermione’s working there, too. Just for
today. Our receptionist quit and we needed someone to fill in until we could
find a permanent replacement.” She sighed and leaned back in her chair. Severus
made a gallant effort not to let his eyes wander downwards.
she continued. “She’s going to go stay with the Weasleys. I think it’s good for
her, staying with them. Otherwise, she’d be locked her room reading or doing
twitched. That was how he had imagined Miss Granger had spent her summers, at
least based on the copious evidence of her holiday homework.
“I’m sure, as
her professor, you’ve noticed that she can be a bit of an overachiever.” She
gave him a wry smile, the sort he had seen shared between friends and
he replied, finding himself utterly charmed by that particular smile. “When I
assign an essay of three feet I am assured that your daughter will give me
Hermione.” She said chuckling. There was a pause and then a sigh. She shook her
head. “I suspect it’s because she has this idea that the only thing she’s good
for is being smart.”
This was the
last thing that Severus Snape expected to hear. And he was rather taken aback
by it. Somehow, it had never occurred to him that Miss Granger would be
Severus replied indistinctly, not knowing what to say to such a revelation. He
found insecurity entirely distasteful and altogether too familiar a trait to
dwell on over much.
“She should be
home soon, if you’d like to stay and see her.”
That was the
last thing Severus wanted to do. And Miss Granger was hardly likely to
appreciate his presence at her home.
“No, I’m afraid
I can’t.” He rose quickly from his seat. “Actually, I really must be going.
There is other business I must attend to before the day is over.” He lied.
“Oh, yes, of
course.” She said, also standing.
“Thank you for
the lunch Doctor . . . Olivia.” Severus said, following her into the house.
“Oh, it was no
trouble at all. After what you’ve done to help us . . . to ward us. Well, it
was nothing. Really, if you ever need dental work done . . .” she laughed
“I shall keep
that in mind,” Severus nodded curling up the edges of his mouth into a half
smile but making sure he didn’t reveal his teeth. He felt unusually
self-conscious about the state of his mouth. He didn’t like the feeling.
the front door and once again, Severus stepped over the threshold.
Severus.” Her eyes held a sincere gratitude. It wasn’t something he was used to
seeing when people were addressing him.
“It was no
trouble.” He replied. “Good Evening.” And with that he turned and began to
march back up the gravelly drive to a safe apparition point.
evening.” He heard her say as she shut the front door.
enough, as his raised his wand to disapparate he found that when he had told
her that it was no trouble he had meant it.